By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The World Bank Group’s (WB) Board of Executive Directors has endorsed a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the Philippines for 2019-2023, which will prioritize investments in human capital (health, education, nutrition), competitiveness and job creation, peace-building, climate and disaster resilience, governance, and digital transformation.
“With the new Country Partnership Framework, the World Bank Group renews its commitment to support the Philippines by mobilizing financing, global knowledge and technical expertise to support reforms and programs that help speed up poverty reduction and promote greater inclusion,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific.
The CPF is a joint strategy of the three members of the World Bank Group (WBG): The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the “World Bank”; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is focused on the private sector in developing countries; and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides political risk insurance to private sector investors and lenders.
The new CPF benefitted from wide consultations, including a social media campaign and university outreach with student groups to understand the perspective of young Filipinos.
The Bank also conducted consultations in different parts of the country to get inputs from civil society representatives, national and local government officials, private/business sector, academia, members of the legislature and other development partners.
On the same day as CPF was introduced, the Bank’s Board approved a US$400-million development policy loan (DPL) to boost competitiveness and fiscal sustainability, as well as strengthen financial resilience to natural disasters and climate change impacts.
DPLs provide quick-disbursing assistance to countries undertaking reforms. DPLs typically support policy and institutional changes needed to create an environment conducive to sustained and equitable growth as defined by borrower countries’ own development agenda.
Reforms supported by this DPL include streamlining processes to reduce the cost of doing business; establishment of the foundational ID system to improve efficiency and transparency of public and private services; enhancing access to financial services through improved payment systems; and strengthening management of public assets and fiscal risks to natural disasters and climate change impacts.
“The Philippines can deepen inclusive growth and broaden shared prosperity by tackling child malnutrition and learning gaps in education; promoting policies that create more and better jobs for Filipino workers; and focusing on the dual risk of conflict and natural disasters that hurt poor communities,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
“The new Country Partnership Framework aims to help overcome the core constraints that continue to hamper the country’s efforts to address the remaining vulnerability of many Filipino families,” she added.
The World Bank, Warwick said, will support a cohesive approach to Mindanao’s development and intensify efforts to engage the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including reconstruction support for Marawi.
For instance, the Bank will support projects that link remote communities to main markets, ports, and key growth corridors as well as promote human development and address drivers of conflict.
For his part, Yuan Xu, IFC Country Manager for the Philippines, said developing a resilient, efficient, and competitive private sector-led economy will position the Philippines for a brighter and more sustainable future.